Voter-Approved Gun Safety Initiative Culp Opposed is Upheld
GOP Candidate for Governor Said Enforcing Law was Akin to Nazism
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 1, 2020
SEATTLE — Initiative 1639, a voter-approved gun safety initiative enhancing background checks, requiring safe storage of firearms, and raising the legal age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 was upheld by a federal judge yesterday.
This is the same law Loren Culp refused to enforce in 2018, making him a celebrity in the right-wing media.
After advancing in the primary as the GOP nominee, Culp told the Seattle Times:
“No court has ruled that I-1639 violates the state or federal constitutions, though a federal case is ongoing. Culp said in the phone interview, ‘I don’t need to wait for a coequal branch of government to tell me something, when I can plainly read it myself.’
Culp compared refusals to enforce what he views as unjust gun laws to civil rights leader Rosa Parks’ famous 1955 refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white man.
He also compared police unquestioningly enforcing gun laws to police and military officials in Nazi Germany who ‘arrested Jews and put them in concentration camps because it was the law.’”
This is important, especially in a national moment when rhetoric from Trump and right-wing media is encouraging extremist violence using assault weapons. Last week, a 17-year-old vigilante and Trump supporter shot 3 people in Kenosha, killing two. If the safe storage provisions of I-1639 were in effect in the vigilante’s home state of Illinois, allowing a minor access to a semiautomatic rifle like the one used to kill two protesters in Wisconsin would be a Class C felony.
It begs the question: Does Loren Culp still think enforcing a law would have prohibited access to that gun by a minor is the same as being a Nazi? And would he enforce the law as governor now that a court has ruled it constitutional?
“The laws which took effect after the passing of Initiative 1639 are intended to increase public safety & save lives, by reducing gun-related fatalities. Yesterday, a federal judge affirmed the constitutionality of the laws, consistent with the Second Amendment. Clearly, Loren Culp is distorted in thinking that he doesn’t ‘need to wait for a coequal branch of government to tell me something, when I can plainly read it myself.’” said Paul Kramer, citizen sponsor of I-1639, whose son Will was shot by a 19 year-old with an AR-15 in Mukilteo in 2016. “This arrogant, mis-guided approach to conducting his responsibilities has no place in local law enforcement. To think he wants to be Governor of Washington with his devil-may-care attitude, negating the importance of both the will of the people, and our judicial system, is ludicrous.”